Vanessa McKernan was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up in both Toronto and Connecticut in the United States. She is one of eight children and was raised in a family that encouraged artistic exploration and expression through music, dance and theatre. Vanessa studied Ballet and Modern dance through her childhood and adolescence. At the age of twenty she decided pursue the study of Painting and was accepted to the Studio Art program at Concordia University. Since completing her honours BFA in 2006 Vanessa has maintained a studio practice and ongoing devotion to the pursuit of truth and magic through painting. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband Christian and 2 year old son Jules. 

Studio Practice

These paintings narratives sewn together from pieces of stories; some personal, some universal, some completely fictional. I like to play with colour, decorative pattern and mark-making. I try to let myself give in to silly pleasures like (lately) the urge to draw flowers and make stencils. Somewhere between trying to tell a story and being playful, the painting begins to take on a narrative all its own. This for me is the height of creative expression...when a piece is no longer confined to your intentions for it...when the work and the story truly become bigger than you.